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Pope Francis

Nicolás Maduro meets with the pope in surprise visit to Rome

October 24, 2016. Pope Francis met with Venezuelan president, Nicolás Maduro. The private visit took place in the midst of the "worrysome political, social, and economic situation the country is going through, which is having serious repercussins in the daily life of the people,” according to a statement from the Vatican.

Holy See and Vietnam begin their 6th bilateral meeting today

October 24, 2016. The sixth meeting between the Holy See and a delegation of Vietnam begins today to improve relations between the two states. The Vatican delegation is headed by Antoine Camilleri, while the head of the Vietnamese delegation is Bui Thanh Son, with Foreign Affairs. The last meeting between the two state delegations was in September 2014.
Pope Francis

Pope to award 2016 Ratzinger Prize to Inos Biffi and Ioannis Kourempeles

October 20, 2016. The winners of this year's Ratzinger Prize will be Inos Biffi and Ioannis Kourempeles. The former, an Italian priest, is an expert in Systematic Theology and History of Medieval Theology. The latter is Greek and an Orthodox. He is an expert in History of Dogmas and Dogmatic Theology. He will be the first Orthodox to be awarded the prize given by the Joseph Ratzinger Foundation, considered by many the Nobel Prize of Theology.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis sends his condolences to Thais after the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej

October 14, 2016. Pope Francis has sent a message to the Prime Minister of Thailand to express his condolences for the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. He was 88 years old, and his reign spanned seven decades. Pope Francis said he is "deeply saddened” and he expresses his closeness to the members of the royal family and the Thai people.
Pope Francis

Pope sends 100,000 dollars for Hurricane Matthew victims

October 14, 2016. Through the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum", Pope Francis will send $100,000 to the victims of Hurricane Matthew in Haiti. The money will fund relief efforts in the first stages of recovery after the devastating effects of the hurricane. With this gesture, the pope wants to express his "closeness of spirit and fatherly support” to everyone in the affected area.
Pope Francis

Pope authorizes new decrees of heroic virtues for four potential saints

October 11, 2016. Pope Francis authorized the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to promulgate the decree of heroic virtues to four people, who are being investigated by the Church for possible sainthood. The decrees were given to the following "Servants of God:”
Pope Francis

Pope Francis rejects death penalty on Twitter: #NoDeathPenalty

October 10, 2016. The Pope has has given his support via Twitter to the World Day Against the Death Penalty. The following message can be read in each of his nine accounts, in their respective languages: "Punishment should necessarily include hope! #NoDeathPenalty.”
Pope Francis

Pope Francis announces Synod about youth and vocation

October 6, 2016. It will be held in 2018 under the name "Youth, faith, and vocational discernment.” Preparations for the second Synod of bishops convened by Pope Francis are well underway.

Theme chosen for 2017 World Communications Day

September 29, 2016. The theme for the 2017 World Communications Day has officially been announced. Coming from the book of Isiah, the theme is: "Fear not, for I am with you: communicating hope and trust in our time.”
Pope Francis

Pope will not be able to travel to Israel on Friday to attend the funeral of Shimon Peres

September 28, 2016. Despite the rumors that Pope Francis will travel to Israel to attend Shimon Peres funeral, the Vatican has issued a statement officially announcing a confirmation for the pope's scheduled visit to Georgia and Azerbaijan will remain as planned on Friday. The pope spoke warmly about the former leader and sent out a telegram of condolences:
Pope Francis

Pope's schedule during his trip to Sweden

September 27, 2016. Pope Francis will travel to Sweden next October 31 and November 1, for the occasion of the Lutheran–Catholic Common Commemoration of the Reformation.This will be the 17th trip of his pontificate.

Complete text of the Pope's Homily in Nairobi


God’s word speaks to us in the depths of our heart.  Today God tells us that we belong to him.  He made us, we are his family, and he will always be there for us.  "Fear not”, he says to us, "I have chosen you and I promise to give you my blessing” (cf. Is 44:2).  

We hear this promise in today’s first reading.  The Lord tells us that in the desert he will pour forth water on the thirsty land; he will cause the children of his people to flourish like grass and luxuriant willows.  We know that this prophecy was fulfilled in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.  But we also see it fulfilled wherever the Gospel is preached and new peoples become members of God’s family, the Church.  Today we rejoice that it was fulfilled in this land.  Through the preaching of the Gospel, you too became part of the great Christian family.  

Isaiah’s prophecy invites us to look to our own families, and to realize how important they are in God’s plan. Kenyan society has long been blessed with strong family life, a deep respect for the wisdom of the elderly and love for children.  The health of any society depends on the health of its families.  For their sake, and for the good of society, our faith in God’s word calls us to support families in their mission in society, to accept children as a blessing for our world, and to defend the dignity of each man and woman, for all of us are brothers and sisters in the one human family.    

In obedience to God’s word, we are also called to resist practices which foster arrogance in men, hurt or demean women, and threaten the life of the innocent unborn.  We are called to respect and encourage one another, and to reach out to all those in need.  Christian families have this special mission: to radiate God’s love, and to spread the life-giving waters of his Spirit.  This is especially important today, for we are seeing the growth of new deserts created by a culture of materialism and indifference to others.

The Lord makes us another promise in today’s readings.  As the Good Shepherd who guides us on the paths of life, he promises to make us dwell in his own house for days unending (cf. Ps). Here too, we see his promise fulfilled in the life of the Church.  In Baptism, he leads us beside restful waters and revives our soul; in Confirmation he anoints us with the oil of spiritual joy and strength; and in the Eucharist, he prepares a table for us, the table of his own body and blood, for the salvation of the world.   

We need these gifts of grace!  Our world needs these gifts!  Kenya needs these gifts!  They strengthen us in fidelity amid adversity, when we seem to be walking "in the valley of the shadow of death”.  But they also change our hearts. They make us more faithful disciples of the divine Master, vessels of mercy and loving kindness in a world wounded by selfishness, sin and division.  These are the gifts which God, in his providence, enables you, as men and women of faith, to contribute to the building up of your country in civil concord and fraternal solidarity.  In a particular way, they are gifts which must be shared with the young, who here, as elsewhere on this great continent, are the future of society.    

Here, in the heart of this University, where the minds and hearts of new generations are being shaped, I appeal in a special way to the young people of the nation.  Let the great values of Africa’s traditions, the wisdom and truth of God’s word, and the generous idealism of your youth guide you in working to shape a society which is ever more just, inclusive and respectful of human dignity.  May you always be concerned for the needs of the poor, and reject everything that leads to prejudice and discrimination, for these things, we know, are not of God.  

All of us are familiar with Jesus’ parable about the man who built his house on sand, rather than rock.  When the winds came, it fell with a mighty crash (cf. Mt 7:24-27).  God is the rock on which we are called to build.  He tells us this in the first reading, and he asks us: "Is there a God besides me?” (cf. Is 44:8).  

When the Risen Jesus says, in today’s Gospel, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Mt 28:18), he is telling us that he, the Son of God, is himself the rock.  There is none besides him.  As the one Saviour of mankind, he wishes to draw men and women of every time and place to himself, so that he can bring them to the Father.  He wants all of us to build our lives on the firm foundation of his word.    

That is why, after his resurrection and at the moment of his return to the Father, Jesus gave his apostles the great missionary mandate which we heard in today’s Gospel: "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you”.  

And that is the charge which the Lord gives to each of us.  He asks us to be missionary disciples, men and women who radiate the truth, beauty and life-changing power of the Gospel.  Men and women who are channels of God’s grace, who enable his mercy, kindness and truth to become the building blocks of a house that stands firm.  

A house which is a home, where brothers and sisters at last live in harmony and mutual respect, in obedience to the will of the true God, who has shown us, in Jesus, the way to that freedom and peace for which all hearts long.  

May Jesus, the Good Shepherd, the rock on whom we build our lives, guide you and your families in the way of goodness and mercy all the days of your lives.  May he bless all Kenyans with his peace.    

"Stand strong in faith!  Do not be afraid!”  For you belong to the Lord.  Mungu awabariki! [God bless you!]  Mungu abariki Kenya! [God bless Kenya!]